What are the benefits of an indigenous land use agreement?
Indigenous land use agreements (ILUAs) can:
- Recognise native title rights
- Provide compensation for native title holders for any past acts, intermediate or future acts of the NSW Government (these acts are defined by the Native Title Act, but can be described as acts which affect native title rights)
- Validate any future acts of the NSW Government that may affect native title
- Deal with a range of issues related to land management
- Set up a park joint management arrangement similar to a memorandum of understanding.
The joint management arrangement can be flexible and there are no legislative requirements about how it is negotiated or what must be addressed. The park joint management arrangement can address:
- Aboriginal community access for traditional use and cultural activities—Native title rights for a particular group depend on their traditional laws and customs and will determine what cultural practices can be covered in an ILUA
- Aboriginal community participation in park management, including setting up an Aboriginal advisory group for the park
- Employment, education and training opportunities for Aboriginal people.
One of the key issues an ILUA can address is the validation of future park programs that may affect native title. The ILUA can provide that certain conditions must be met, for example that the native title holders are notified, consulted and given an opportunity to comment. An ILUA could provide for consultation on:
Do Aboriginal people get jobs in parks that are subject to ILUAs?
- The preparation, implementation and amendment of plan of management
- The construction of public works, infrastructure, facilities or repair or demolition work on the park.
This will depend on the park, the size, location and nature of the park, and the ILUA agreement and what employment opportunities are available.
There may be scope for improving employment for Aboriginal people in the long term—by employing Aboriginal people when existing jobs become vacant or by involving local Aboriginal people in the recruitment process.
The NPWS may be able to provide access to its training programs and other educational opportunities to Aboriginal people who are involved in a joint management arrangement.
Page last updated: 27 February 2011